Basic Indoor Gardening

June 04, 2018

Basic Indoor Gardening

Indoor gardening is nothing more than the act of growing plants indoors. This might be at a residential home, within a business location like an office building or restaurant, or any other enclosed area.

There are multiple types of indoor gardening, including container gardening, hydroponic gardening, controlled environment agriculture, vertical farms, and more. Don't forget to click here: gardensonata.com.au


A Guide to Indoor Gardening


Sunshine

Decoding those perplexing tag instructions on light.

  • If the tag says direct light,the plant needs six or more hours of bright sunshine a day, hitting it head-on.

  • If the tag says moderate light,the plant needs bright, direct sunshine only part of the time—about four hours a day.

  • If the tag says indirect light,the plant needs to be kept a few feet away from pounding sun at all times. It wants only ambient light.

  • If the tag says low light,the plant needs no direct sunshine and little ambient light. It’s happy in a room that never gets much sun.


North-facing windows don’t receive much light, southern windows tend to be sunny for much of the day, and eastern and western windows are sunny for part of the day. 

But, of course, trees, shrubs, and buildings can block light.

Get to know the light in your home simply by observing it.

That’s the best way to figure out what plants you can accommodate and where they should live.


Water

How often should I water my plants?

Because conditions vary, there’s no way to give hard-and-fast advice like “Water once a week.” Heat and sunlight specific to your home will dry out the soil at different rates. You’ll have to feel the soil with your finger.

If the plant’s tag says, “Water steadily or evenly,” then water whenever the surface of the soil is dry to the touch.

If the tag says, “Water moderately,” allow the top inch or so to dry out between watering. One note: Don’t over water. It’s as liable to kill a plant as under-watering.


What’s the best technique for watering?

Thoroughly saturate the soil until water comes out the bottom of the pot. (If the water is not reabsorbed within a day or so, empty out the saucer.) When you can, take plants to a sink or a tub and give them a soaking; most plants love this. (African violets are an exception.)


How can I remember to water?

Refill the watering can (or milk jug or any container you like) each time you finish watering, then leave it out as a reminder.

This will also allow the water to come to room temperature and give additives (like fluoride) a chance to dissipate. Keep needy plants in plain sight so you don’t forget about them.


Plants & Containers:

Healthy Leaves

When shopping for plants, be selective. Look for firm, healthy foliage and steer clear of anything too leggy (with more stem than leaves).

Find some inspiration from Decorating With House Plants, for picks that are available in nurseries or grocery stores near you. Don't forget to visit here: gardensonata.com.au

The Right-Size Pot


When replanting, use a container the same size as the one the plant came in or two inches larger (a four-inch-diameter plant can go in a six-inch pot, a six-inch plant in an eight-inch pot).

Too big a pot means too much soil that holds too much water—and this can rot the roots. Also, a pot should always have a drainage hole in the bottom.

Smart Materials 

Terra-cotta is a durable classic, but also consider resin or fiberglass.

These hold moisture longer (moisture evaporates through terra-cotta), which gives you a little advantage if you’re forgetful about watering.

To protect floors and furniture, use saucers that are glazed on the inside.

(Any glazed dish works just as well.) for more amazing gardening just visit here: gardensonata.com.au


How to Re-pot a Plant

As a practice, get your plants out of the plastic pots they’re sold in. Even humble terra-cotta is transforming. Before re-potting, water thoroughly to hold the roots together. 

 

  • Step 1:
With the stem between your fingers, carefully turn the pot upside down and gently coax the plant out of the pot.
(If the plant is root-bound—lots of roots and barely any soil—ease out the roots and trim them by about half.)

  • Step 2:
Place a stone or a shard of terra-cotta over the new pot’s drainage hole so the soil doesn’t wash out. Put an inch or so of potting mix in the pot. Center the plant inside.

  • Step 3: 

Fill in around the roots with potting mix. Use a chopstick or a pencil to tamp around the roots gently.

Leave a quarter inch of space between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot. This will help hold water so it can slowly soak in and thoroughly moisten the soil.

Great Indoor Gardening Supplies:


Plant Trays

Your idea of an indoor garden might be a few houseplants scattered throughout your home or a room that’s dedicated to your green thumb pursuits.

Whatever your interest or skill level, streamline plant care by investing in the right equipment.

Check out a few of these items, like these indoor round trays that earn their keep as a humidity tray, drainage saucer or planting container for a miniature garden.

Tiered Plant Stands

Plant stands showcase your plants with style while taking up very little indoor real estate.

Stands with tiers or shelves maximize display options in the smallest possible space.


Cachepots

Look for eye-catching cachepots that can hold—and hide—plain plastic and terra-cotta pots. Pots with matching saucers add cohesive charm to the scene.

When you choose cachepots, remember that at times you may have to dump excess water out of the pot.

If the pot is heavy, that job becomes even more difficult.

Plant Lights

Investigate the variety of plant lights available to increase the rays your plants receive, especially in northern regions in winter.

New light technology provides full spectrum rays from models small enough to fit on a tabletop.


Fertilizer

Indoor plant fertilizers come in a variety of forms.

You can find liquid fertilizers and powders that you mix with water, as well as slow release stakes and prills (small pellets).

Do a little homework to make sure you choose the best fertilizer for your plants.

For most foliage plants, general indoor plant fertilizers that are water soluble or slow release work fine.


Compact Watering Can

Find a watering can that you like and can handle easily.

Look for one that isn’t too heavy when full of water and doesn’t tilt awkwardly toward the spout end when full.

Plastic watering cans are lighter than some metal cans.

Cans with a long spout can be tricky to control because you can’t see where the water is in the spout once you tilt the can.


Hand Pruners

Invest in a good pair of pruners or a sharp pair of scissors that you can use on indoor plants.

If you go the scissors route, keep that pair solely for use on plants so they deliver the sharpest, cleanest cut.


Trellis Support

When growing vines, you’ll need to find a suitable trellis for the plant to scramble up.

Look online or in quality garden centers for a variety of pot-size plant supports like at gardensonata.com.au.
The most important thing with any support is that you’re able to anchor it firmly in the soil.

Hand-Held Pressure Sprayer

Keep a hand held pressure sprayer on hand for times when you need to apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to battle houseplant pests.

Most hand-held sprayers hold up to 2 cups of liquid.

The nice thing about a pressure sprayer is that it can deliver a very fine mist capable of reaching into the smallest crevices on plants, which are the very spots pests like to hide.


Windowsill Pot Kit

Start your own seeds indoors with a windowsill propagation kit.

This type of kit includes everything you need to sprout a crop of basil or chives for a windowsill herb garden.

The covers for the containers provide a greenhouse effect, but also offer the option of venting open to prevent heat and moisture build up.

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A Victorian Plant Stand

A replica of a wire Victorian plant stand celebrates indoor gardening’s golden age.

This plant stand, with its rectangular shape, fits neatly along a window, allowing plants to get maximum light without occupying nearby tables.

The wire design allows air flow to plants, which helps maintain leaf health.

Clay Pots

Count on clay pots to grow plants that often die from over watering and overly moist soil, like rosemary, cacti or succulents. Unglazed terra-cotta breathes, permitting soil to dry out between waterings.


Plant Caddy

For larger plants, invest in a few plant caddies. These rolling platforms make it easier to shift plants for cleaning and rotating to promote even growth.


Best Fragrant Indoor Plants: 

Plants are a wonderful way to bring nature indoors even during the harshest winter weather. Even better: when those plants are also deliciously fragrant.

Azores Jasmine

For intense fragrance, grow this jasmine. It typically flowers spring through fall, but tosses open blooms in winter, too, if growing conditions provide warmth and sun.

Give it a spot near a southern-facing window. The perfume is similar to gardenia. Plants may be slow to bloom the first year.

Just wait—the flower show kicks into gear as plants age.

Botanical name: Jasminum azoricum


Marino Blue' Heliotrope

Vanilla honey describes the sweet scent of these pretty purple flowers.

Plants flower year-round, and the blossoms are a sensory treat in the depth of winter.

Stems tend to trail, so plan to support plants with a hoop-type stake.

Botanical name: Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marino Blue’




Spearmint

The fragrant leaves of spearmint release their minty scent even when they’re warmed by the sun.

It’s a wonderful addition to an indoor garden—easy to grow and not plagued by pests.

Give it a spot near a sunny window for best growth. Harvest leaves as needed for tea or desserts.

Botanical name: Mentha spicata


Night Blooming Jasmine

An intense and intoxicating perfume wafts from the flowers of night-blooming jasmine each evening.

Plants blossom intermittently year-round and grow rapidly. Prune as needed to retain shape.

Just make sure not to prune too often, since flowers form on mature stems. Give this plant a sunny southern window for best flowering.

Botanical name: Cestrum nocturnum


Silverdrop' Eucalyptus

Wonderfully fragrant leaves are the scented offering on this pretty plant. Silver blue-green leaves add subtle color to indoor settings.

Give it high light near a sunny south-facing window.

Botanical name: Eucalyptus gunii ‘Silverdrop’ 


Corsican Mint

This diminutive beauty is content in even the smallest pot. Don’t let the small size fool you—this plant is big on fragrance.

The leaves release a refreshing minty aroma when brushed. A sunny window yields best growth.

Botanical name: Mentha requienii


Angel's Blushing Beauty' Angel's Trumpet

When angel’s trumpet blooms, the fragrance fills an entire apartment. The perfume from the dangling blossoms is released at night, leading to sweetly scented dreams.

The secret to success with this beauty is to give it warmth and the brightest light you can. 

If flowers fail to form, use indoor plant lights.

Botanical name: Brugmansia ‘Angel’s Blushing Beauty’


HEALTH & SOCIAL BENEFITS OF INDOOR GARDENING

Indoor gardening is becoming quite popular among urban dwellers. And it’s no wonder as education about the many benefits of gardening and plant life has been prolific as of late. 


Rates of depression, anxiety, obesity, respiratory disorders and many other chronic illnesses are increasing among those living in urban areas.

General concern over public health and social stability is growing. Thankfully, gardening is a terrific preventative measure which can be taken relatively easily, and generates incredible health and social benefits.

Here are some of the most amazing benefits of keeping an indoor garden:

  • Plants improve our air quality by filtering toxins that get trapped indoors. The improved air quality lowers risk of respiratory disorders, as well as chronic headaches and eye irritation.

  • Plants teach us how to be attentive and responsive to their needs. This improves our levels of empathy and compassion.

  • Research in environmental psychology has shown that a connection with plants improves human mental well-being as well as productivity levels.

  • Growing your own food reduces our risk of chemical ingestion which you find in foods that have been transported to your local grocery store.

  • Gardening is an excellent conversation starting point in gaining more attention about the need for improving our environmental impact.

  • In an indoor environment, gardening is a lot less maintenance and plants are relatively safe from pests and disease.

  • There are countless automated indoor gardening systems for you to choose from which are cost effective and low-maintenance.

           

          Remember:

          Indoor gardening can be small in scale and done by the average homeowner, or it can be industrial in scale and occur in massive greenhouses. Keep in mind that, whether it takes place indoors or outdoors, all methods of gardening require access to clean water, a source of light, and a way to support plants as they grow. Check out Indoor Gardening Plants for more ideas.